The Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association is proud to announce that it has received a grant from Digital Main Street (DMS), an Ontario government program, to fund a Digital Service Squad to help local downtown businesses adopt new technologies and take training to build digital competencies. The Digital Service Squad will kick-off with a launch event on July
As part of Digital Main Street, the BIA received a $10,000 grant from the Ontario government to establish a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses in the downtown area enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow.
The Squad will visit and help downtown businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business and conduct a digital-readiness assessment to determine what is working and what isn’t. The squad will also help qualifying businesses apply for a $2,500 Digital transformation Grant.
“Our main focus with this new initiative is to set up main street businesses with a comprehensive online presence, including a Google My Business page with contact details and a 360-degree tour of their location, along with photos and a Google Maps location pin,” said Josh Ingram, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association. “That way, even if companies aren’t currently tech-savvy, their digital footprint will still register with tourists and locals searching online. Our ultimate goal is to see our members gain and retain a competitive edge.”
A joint program funded by Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps improve how small main street businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful. “We are always on the lookout for initiatives that will benefit every sector of our membership – from dentists to ice cream shops and everything in between,” added Ingram.
“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses in Sault Ste. Marie will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses embrace digital technology. Our investment in the Digital Main Street program will help to ensure that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “Setting up an online business can be done at little cost and can attract a variety of new business opportunities.”
“The Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association is leading the way in using the power of Digital Main Street to help keep their downtown core vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association. “Our small main street businesses are a critical contributor to Ontario’s economic, social and cultural health, and it’s vital that we work together to ensure their success. Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses of Sault Ste. Marie compete in an increasingly digital world.”